Supper to benefit Special Olympics

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JAY – The American Veterans (of World War II) of Jay will host its annual benefit supper for Special Olympics Maine winter games at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.

The games will be held Sunday through Tuesday, Jan. 28 to 30, at Sugarloaf USA ski area in Carrabassett Valley. The event for handicapped athletes includes competitions, a torchlight parade, fireworks, a parade of champions, a community dinner and a victory dance.

Supper proceeds will help pay for contestants, events, supplies and medals.

“Last year, total, we raised about $15,000 in Franklin County,” said Gerold Toothaker, Franklin County coordinator for Special Olympics Maine and a member of the AMVETS. Of that amount, on average, $10,625 is given to the state Special Olympics.

“That’s after Franklin County’s expenses are taken care of, like materials, uniforms, etc.,” he said.

The money comes from different events throughout the year. The AMVETS and Veterans of Foreign Wars also help sponsor a summer camp in Poland and have four bowling events during the year, all for Special Olympics Maine.

“I am very pleased,” Toothaker said. “I’m one of the lucky ones that hears the praise and thank you’s all the time.”

About 40 to 45 volunteers from the AMVETS, VFW and the community are heading to Sugarloaf on Saturday to prepare for and assist with the contests.

“The VFW does the cooking, hot dogs, hamburgers,” Toothaker said.

In addition to the supper, there will be an auction, donation presentations and prize drawings, along with a dance at the end of the evening. Donations are welcome.

Toothaker said he’s headed to the mountain. “That’s our pay day, seeing the looks on their (the participants’) faces.”

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